Henry james essays

Henry James "the Turn of the Screw" By: When a man named Griffin tells of a little boy who experiences a ghostly visitation, his friend Douglas notes, a few nights later, that the age of the child "gives the effect another turn of the screw" and proposes a ghost story unsurpassed for "dreadfulness" about two children.

Henry james essays

I am therefore anxious not to lose the benefit of this favourable association, and to edge in a few words under cover of the attention which Mr. Besant is sure to Henry james essays excited. There is something very encouraging in his having put into form certain of his ideas on the mystery of story-telling.

It is a proof of life and curiosity--curiosity on the part of the brotherhood of novelists, as well as on the part of their readers. Only a short time ago it might have been supposed that the English novel was not what the French call discutable.

It had no air of having a theory, a conviction, a consciousness of itself behind it-of being the expression of an artistic faith, the result of choice and comparison. I do not say it was necessarily the worse for that; it would take much more courage than I possess to intimate that the form of the novel, as Dickens and Thackeray for instance saw it had any taint of incompleteness.

Henry james essays

During the period I have alluded to there was a comfortable, good-humoured feeling abroad that a novel is a novel, as a pudding is a pudding, and that this was the end of it. But within a year or two, for some reason or other, there have been signs of returning animation-the era of discussion would appear to have been to a certain extent opened.

Art lives upon discussion, upon experiment, upon curiosity, upon variety of attempt, upon the exchange of views and the comparison of standpoints; and there is a presumption that those times when no one has anything particular to say about it, and has no reason to give for practice or preference, though they may be times of genius, are not times of Henry james essays, are times possibly even, a little, of dulness.

The successful application of any art is a delightful spectacle, but the theory, too, is interesting; and though there is a great deal of the latter without the former, I suspect there has never been a genuine success that has not had a latent core of conviction.

Discussion, suggestion, formulation, these things are fertilizing when they are frank and sincere. Besant has set an excellent example in saying what he thinks, for his part, about the way in which fiction should be written, as well as about the way in which it should be published; for his view of the "art," carried on into an appendix, covers that too.

Other labourers in the same field will doubtless take up the argument, they will give it the light of their experience, and the effect will surely be to make our interest in the novel a little more what it had for some time threatened to fail to be--a serious, active, inquiring interest, under protection of which this delightful study may, in moments of confidence, venture to say a little more what it thinks of itself.

It must take itself seriously for the public to take it so. The old superstition about fiction being "wicked" has doubtless died out in England; but the spirit of it lingers in a certain oblique regard directed toward any story which does not more or less admit that it is only a joke.

Even the most jocular novel feels in some degree the weight of the proscription that was formerly directed against literary levity; the jocularity does not always succeed in passing for gravity. It is still expected, though perhaps people are ashamed to say it, that a production which is after all only a "make believe" for what else is a "story"?

This, of course, any sensible wide-awake story declines to do, for it quickly perceives that the tolerance granted to it on such a condition is only an attempt to stifle it, disguised in the form of generosity.

The old evangelical hostility to the novel, which was as explicit as it was narrow, and which regarded it as little less favourable to our immortal part than a stage-play, was in reality far less insulting. The only reason for the existence of a novel is that it does compete with life.

When it ceases to compete as the canvas of the painter competes, it will have arrived at a very strange pass. It is not expected of the picture that it will make itself humble in order to be forgiven; and the analogy between the art of the painter and the art of the novelist is, so far as I am able to see, complete.

"No one, among American writers, was more contemporary or had a more powerful grasp of American history and American myth," writes Leon Edel of Henry James. This collection of James's essays on American letters, together with some of his miscellaneous writings on other American subjects, is a. Henry James wrote The Portrait of A Lady in what could be considered the early period of his career. There is a common theme in his works that can be filed under â his discovery and development of the international themeâ â ” under this would fall the contrast between the naivety of the New World and the hardened experience of the Old World, but most . Henry James' The Art of Fiction In an essay written in response to an essay written by Walter Besant, both titled "The Art of Fiction", Henry James provides both a new understanding of fiction and greater understand of his own works.

Their inspiration is the same, their process allowing for the different quality of the vehicle is the same, their success is the same. They may learn from each other, they may explain and sustain each other. Their cause is the same, and the honour of one is the honour of another.

Peculiarities of manner, of execution, that correspond on either side, exist in each of them and contribute to their development. The Mahometans think a picture an unholy thing, but it is a long time since any Christian did, and it is therefore the more odd that in the Christian mind the traces dissimulated though they may be of a suspicion of the sister art should linger to this day.

Henry James: Major Stories and Essays by Henry James | attheheels.com

The only effectual way to lay it to rest is to emphasize the analogy to which I just alluded--to insist on the fact that as the picture is reality, so the novel is history. That is the only general description which does it justice that we may give the novel. But history also is allowed to compete with life, as I say; it is not, any more than painting, expected to apologize.

The subject-matter of fiction is stored up likewise in documents and records, and if it will not give itself away, as they say in California, it must speak with assurance, with the tone of the historian.

Certain accomplished novelists have a habit of giving themselves away which must often bring tears to the eyes of people who take their fiction seriously. I was lately struck, in reading over many pages of Anthony Trollope, with his want of discretion in this particular. In a digression, a parenthesis or an aside, he concedes to the reader that he and this trusting friend are only "making believe.

Such a betrayal of a sacred office seems to me, I confess, a terrible crime; it is what I mean by the attitude of apology, and it shocks me every whit as much in Trollope as it would have shocked me in Gibbon or Macaulay. It implies that the novelist is less occupied in looking for the truth the truth, of course I mean, that he assumes, the premises that we must grant him, whatever they may be than the historian, and in doing so it deprives him at a stroke of all his standing-room.Movie Essays - Jane Campion's Film of Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady - Jane Campion's Film Version of Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady Jane Campion's film version of Henry James's novel, The Portrait of a Lady, offers the viewer a sexually charged narrative of a young naive American girl in Victorian era Europe.

Henry James () was born on April 15, to Henry James, Sr., and his wife, Mary Walsh Robertson. His older brother William was born in , and younger siblings Garth Wilkinson, Robertson, and Alice were born in , , and , respectively.

Henry James wrote The Portrait of A Lady in what could be considered the early period of his career. There is a common theme in his works that can be filed under â his discovery and development of the international themeâ â ” under this would fall the contrast between the naivety of the New World and the hardened experience of the Old World, but most .

Henry James' Washington Square - Henry James' Washington Square In Washington Square', Henry James used a refined technique of narration, language, symbolism and irony as he explored the psychological dimensions of his characters' actions, motivations and interpersonal relationships.

Henry James: Literary Criticism: Essays on Literature, American Writers, English Writers is kept in print by a gift from Nancy M.

Edwards to the Guardians of American Letters Fund in memory of Thomas R. Edwards Jr. Mar 25,  · Henry James' The Art of Fiction In an essay written in response to an essay written by Walter Besant, both titled "The Art of Fiction", Henry James provides both a new understanding of fiction and greater understand of his own works.

"The Art of Fiction" by Henry James